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Reading Lolita In Tehran (English)

Reading Lolita In Tehran is a tale of inspiration as narrated by the author Azar Nafisi. It begins with Nafisi recounting her experiences when she returned to Iran. The scene is set at the time of the Iranian revolution. Nafisi begins teaching at the University of Tehran. Amidst large-scale protests, she holds her own and defies everyday norms and rules such as the compulsory wearing of veil. After refusing to wear a veil, she gets expelled from the university. Nafisi however returns to teaching, albeit at a different university, University of Allameh Tabatabei. After teaching at the university for six years years, she resigns and starts a book club. The running of the book club entails eight women gathered in a single room, reading and discussing some of the classics of literature and their authors, such as Lolita, Gatsby, James, and Austen, the names of the four sections comprising the book.

Seven committed students of Nafisi gathered in a single room every Thursday morning for two years and read forbidden Western classics. The women come from diverse backgrounds, some conservative and religious, while others secular and progressive. Shy and reserved initially, since they were not used to speaking their mind, the women begin to open up as they read the classics. The women gradually realized how their stories related to those written by Jane Austen, Vladimir Nabokov, Henry James, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. As these types of books were banned, modern teachings seized, artistic expression stifled, and freedom was arrested, these eight women expressed themselves to their fullest, speaking at length about their dreams, joys, and disappointments. Reading Lolita In Tehran explores and unveils the lives of women living under the Iranian Revolution. It is a passionate account of the struggle against tyranny through the magic of fiction.

The novel was received with phenomenal praise and celebration. It topped The New York Times Bestseller list for over 117 weeks and has so far been translated in 32 languages. It won Booksenseƒ??s Non-fiction Book of the Year Award, 2004, the Frederic W. Ness Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2004 PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Memoir.

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